The Chairperson of the Makerere University Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara on Monday 9th September 2019 met with the members of Administration of the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology. Mrs Magara visited the college in an effort to acquaint herself with the college, its successes and challenges and how best to address them.
The Chairperson of the Makerere University Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara, on Monday 8, 2019 visited the College of Engineering, Design, Art and technology and interacted with the management and staff of the college.
Mrs Magara said that the council made a decision to visit colleges to get familiar with the operations of the different colleges. She said the visit would help Council understand the challenges and opportunities available in the college. “The agenda is to listen and understand,” she emphasised.
Professor Henry Alinaitwe, the Principal of CEDAT, presented some of the challenges that the college faces. These challenges include; Lack of enough Space for lecture rooms and office especially in the Departments of Architecture and Physical Planning, Construction and Economics Management, and Electrical and Computer Engineering, Inadequate laboratory and studio space. He said the available spaces were originally built for small classes yet now some classes have as many as 200 students. Other challenges include, Inadequate laboratory equipment, Expensive software licences, shortage of space at the Margret Trowel School of Industrial and Fine Art, old and dilapidated building that require renovation. In addition, the Principal said the college was facing financial challenges in regard to paying part-time members of staff. He asked that all these staff be absorbed into the university system since the college needs them to continue teaching.
He also asked that part-time staff payments be handled at the centre.
He asked that council considering undertaking Affirmative action on the appointment of academic staff, technicians and staff on part-time and stop-gap measures.
The chairperson council responded to the different challenges by affirming that council is doing a payroll audit and a clean-up is going on now. After that is done, there will be an effort to fill vacant positions.
She advised that better financial planning be made such that the college gets an approved budget for the part time staff, this she said requires integrated planning.
She said the University Council would look into the Integrated Financial Management system (IFMS) to identify areas of improvement.
Mrs. Magara thanked the CEDAT team for the research activities being undertaken and called on all researchers to make sure the research doesn’t end up on the shelves. She shared with staff about her visit to Kiira Motors. Kiira Motors is a company that was birthed at CEDAT.
“This college has influenced government development and policy and this is a great achievement,” Mrs Magara said. She challenged CEDAT staff to train and develop more technicians in the country. There is a gap in the industry that needs to be bridged.
The student leaders who attended the meeting asked that the university involves them more in the decision-making process. In response, the chairperson council said that the council has two student representatives, and she hopes that these students communicate to the rest of the student community.
The Dean School of Built Environment expressed his dissatisfaction with the over centralisation of services which brings inefficiency which renders the collegiate system inactive. Mrs Magara said Council was also in the process of reviewing the collegiate system.
In her closing remarks, Mrs Lorna Magara the chairperson council asked the college leaders to use their representatives to council to air their views.